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Outsource magazine: thought-leadership and outsourcing strategy | March 6, 2015

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Tom Topolinski

Tom Topolinski

FORMER COLUMNIST: Tom Topolinski, who tragically passed away unexpectedly on July 3, 2011, developed a strong blend of technology and executive business management skills during his 37 years in business.  His primary focus was on customer relationship management (CRM), help desk services, technology support, enterprise resource planning (ERP), supply chain management (SCM), software development, global outsourcing and consulting.  He was highly skilled at global business architecture, executive leadership and successfully built and managed large service organisations, working extensively in outsourcing, prime and sub-contracting environments. 

Tom consulted with major companies and investment firms on CRM, enterprise-wide software, organic growth and acquisitions.  He worked for major outsourcing companies such as Sutherland Global Services, Sitel and Digital Equipment Corporation and was a lead CRM analyst for Gartner for five years.  He consulted with many organisations such as Dartmouth College, Kodak, Microsoft, McAfee, Symantec, Dell, Lenovo, Xerox and others.  He published many articles and is quoted in hundreds of industry journals, including Time and Business Week.  (Also quoted in hard cover book, Heads Up, Harvard Business School Press, © 2004. )

Tom Topolinski won The Outsourcing Institute's Best Outsourcing Thought Leadership in IT award in 2008, with his article 'The Inconvenient Truth About Caring for Customers', where this award was covered in the news by Forbes, Reuters and many others.  He was a Senior Advisor for The Outsourcing Institute and a consultant to both outsourcers and end users of contact/call centre companies.  Towards the end of his life he gained significant experience involved working with and researching artificial intelligent software focused on Virtual Assistants, Web Avatars, Smartphone Avatars and multi-lingual chat servers. 

Posts By Tom Topolinski

Strategic planning for outsourcers: a roadmap to success

June 8, 2011 |

Every business needs a roadmap for its journey to success.  Whether you’re an outsource provider, an outsource user or a self-source provider, your business requires a roadmap and a strategic plan to continue and achieve your goals.  In the outsourcing … Read More

Wouldn’t you increase your talk time with your customers, if you could?

May 18, 2011 |


First off, we need to be honest with ourselves.  Today’s business requires support and customer service to our clients.  Based on today’s economy, technologies and processes, most of us find that customer touch must be reduced.  Average Handle Time … Read More

Social networking: Ground Zero

May 3, 2011 |

Social networking has a huge impact on today’s business as well as on our personal lives as businesspeople.  It affects those we depend on as friends, employees, associates and those we depend on as business contacts.

Twenty years ago, in … Read More

When a customer calls for help…

April 20, 2011 |

I have worked in large corporations in customer service for several decades.  As an executive, I know that customers who buy our wares also buy our support of those products.  In addition to business, I have experienced great work, family, … Read More

The Future is Now

April 6, 2011 |

This article originally appeared in Outsource Magazine Issue #23 Spring 2011

Virtual Assistance and Artificial Intelligence are here for customer service and sales – so what does this mean for the CRM space?

What is happening to advance the relationship … Read More

How will global events affect your business?

March 23, 2011 |


If you think you’re business is not a global business and prone to global events, think again.  In today’s business world, it’s a much different place than what most of us were originally taught in Business 101 or even … Read More

A perfect storm is coming for call centres

March 8, 2011 |

Today, call and contact centres are operated at high efficiency standards.  That’s due to high costs in labour, brick and mortar and technology.  We manage them with service level agreements (SLAs), metrics and to a given budget.  No surprise there.  … Read More

Does your customer service strategy include the latest user trends?

January 21, 2011 |

Most customer service strategies include common channels to allow contact with end users through phone, chat or web interactions.  Referred to as “contact centres”, these units are typically the only way for an end user to reach out for help … Read More

The Next Big Thing to hit call/contact centres and customer service

November 2, 2010 |


Over the next five years the call/contact centre industry will undergo enormous change. Consumer and business customers will no longer have to deal with accent problems and call queue waiting.  The cost of customer service, technical support, telesales and … Read More